Boxed Food Company, LLC et. Al v. California Capital Insurance Company et. al
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss in a proposed class action involving a group of restaurants in the San Francisco Bay area seeking business interruption coverage. The judge pointed to the virus exclusion of the policy as justification for throwing the case out on the pleadings, finding the provision unambiguous. The Plaintiff argued that the absence of the word “pandemic” from the policy limited the exclusion to “stand-alone viruses”, and that this omission constituted an ambiguity. If such ambiguity was present, the court would have to find in favor of the insured. The court reasoned that the absence of a specific word does not necessarily create an ambiguity, and summarily dismissed the case. The San Francisco Bay Area has been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, seeing 8,300 business closures, 4,000 of which are permanent.